TRADERS in Oxford reported an increase in footfall as shoppers swamped the sales on Boxing Day.

The city’s Westgate Shopping Centre said 20,000 people visited – an eight per cent rise on last year. Westgate general manager Brendan Hattam said: “We’re delighted that Westgate Shopping Centre Oxford has performed strongly once again over the Christmas period.

“The centre has been very busy with shoppers since mid-November and footfall has risen steadily in the run up to Christmas.

“As the sales get under way, there is a real buzz in the centre with people looking to take advantage of the fantastic discounts on offer.

“We expect good numbers of shoppers from now through to the New Year.”

Mr Hattam said he did not know why there had been a rise, because the centre had not done anything differently since Boxing Day 2011. Independent shops in the city, many of which were closed on Boxing Day, also reported a successful day yesterday.

Mark Leech, from tailors Ede & Ravenscroft in the High Street, said they had a busy morning on Thursday.

He said: “It has been busy, although it’s tailed off for lunch now.”

But business was not booming everywhere. Tenants in the Covered Market reported a quiet day’s trading yesterday.

Gillian Senior, who owns The Hat Box, said: “It’s been slow, looking outside the shop I can only see about 10 people in the market.

“Then again, not everybody is open today.”